Zero Waste Week in Florianopolis

Going to the Zero Waste Week in Florianopolis (October 20-27, 2013) was not a question of going or not – it was a need, because Mr Rodrigo Sabtini had called me. I had an invitation from the local parliament of Santa Catarina to come and participate in an immense program; everything was conducted and arranged by Zero Waste Institute Brasil. Coming to Brasil is like coming home, the people are so friendly and if you been there before you have some real good friends because that’s the way the Brazilians are.

Florianopolis is an island about 1,5 h south, by air, from Rio De Janerio. Hitting the city is like coming to San Francisco, you recognize the water, the bridge and the hills. And when you meet Mr Rodrigo Sabatini then you know you are in Brasil, the tempo is not fast, it’s furious. He picked me up at the airport: “Are you ready for a real hard working week?” he asked me. I responded: “You bet I am” and I had no idea what it meant to give that answer to this man. Anyway, he gave us all an incredible week, it was like a rollercoaster both considering the week program and the car rides with him – but we all loved it. Rodrigo Sabatini is not only a great entrepreneur, doer and nice person – he is a force! My first little work session lasted only for forty hours – then I hit the sack, totally exhausted but full of joy on a late Monday evening.

It was me, Leslie, Enso, Rick, Rodrigo from ZWIA and a lot of great zero wasters from Brasil that made and had a fun time with tons of work, we all did it with the right Zero Waste glimpse in our eyes.

The program was packed: visits, participation, speech, debates at the parliament, university, schools, public buildings, enterprises, private companies, homes, supermarkets, plenary, museums, parks, culture institutions and much more.

We met hundreds of fantastic people they were all devoted to Lixo and they had different solutions of the waste problem. But of course, we tried in every possible way to convince them to understand the Zero Waste System is the one and only solution – which is true.

Next morning I started with a beach run for one hour, Sabatini and Favoini went swimming, the beach was 5km long and the morning was all black, slowly we saw the sun break through and another day started, scenery once again was unbeatable. One hour traffic jam cost me the breakfast, we were late to the first meeting at the Sapiens park, a think-tank area in the north of the island. Very interesting project loaded with big brains and devoted people; we spent three very useful hours there.

Lunch break and then off to Museo Lixo where we met about two hundred school kids, they were hungry for Zero Waste ideas in every level. Two more meetings and finally dinner time but in another city, paradise lost, Bombinhas this fantastic small town with its soul deep into the ocean and the first Zero Waste declared city in Brasil. The mayor, a young dynamic woman with charisma hugged and kissed us and was so enthusiastic about the declaration, the event and all the publicity her city got from the Lixo Zero Week. We had a terrific dinner at a restaurant by the ocean, the seafood was incredible and we ate and cheered for Bombinhas. An unforgettable evening with many nice and hundred percent Zero Waste people – nothing beats that.

Which day is it today? No, idea, everything seems to be floating, interact, days, hours, nights, days and people, the Brazilians know how to compose, conduct and orchestra an event and make it into super success. They also know a few things about speed and tempo that we are not aware of, we don’t talk about fast acting, we talk about moving forward with the speed of light or as we say “Sabatini speed.”

Thursday we spent at a meeting with ACATS, they organize all supermarkets in Brasil and is a large organization with a lot of impact. In Florianopolis there are many Zero Waste Supermercados and they are doing a good Zero Waste job, influencing employees and customers. The international group gave some speeches and Rick signed “certification papers/business principles” to the organization, we had a great photo session with diplomas and big smiles.

Mr Sabatini had a “graduation speech” for all the international speakers and handed over gifts and participation diplomas for the good and devoted work we been doing during the week.

Rating, speakers: Leslie, five star, Rodrigo five star, Enzo five star and Rich five star, great performance of each of you.

During the week there were more than forty different sessions going on in Florianopolis and Sabatini participated in almost all of them, he is the only person in the world with a pacemaker on turbo, sessions, intermissions, interviews, television, radio, newspapers, people, car driving, speeches, dinners – he is there, he is good, he has a huge heart, he is a true Zero Waste Hero and we all love him.

Friday was a day of recovery, we thought, but oh no, Sabatini kept us visiting, speaking in many different events, schools, companies and culture institutions – we went to a lot of interesting meetings and had a sum up in evening by a huge going away Brazilian barbecue. We had meat, more meat and even more meat, it was so goooooood!

During the evening we made an activist action about plastic, you can see it on Instituto Lixo Zero Brasil’s FB-page.

We also had a ZWIA-meeting where Rodrigo gave us his outcast for a business plan and we discussed about it; he will come back with more details to everybody during the November Skype-meeting. We all look forward to be able to finalize this document and move on forward.

I believed that nothing ever would beat Rio+20 in tempo, but the Lixo Zero Week in Florianopolis did it, thanks to Mr. Rodrigo Sabatini he made a great job with his team to create an event, I or anybody else, ever will forget. Thanks also to the state of Santa Catarina, the administration, all the staff and great audience in the parliament.

Millions thanks to Instituto Lixo Zero Brasil, to Amanda, Rodrigo, Maria, Raoni, Lidi, Stefania, and all others that were involved in making this event to such a giant, fantastic happening. You are all devoted, you are all such great people and I love you all, thanks for a wonderful week in Florianopolis – now I need to rest 😉


See more pictures of the Brazil meeting.